What market are you really in?

On a recent global brand positioning project with a confectionary company, I was reminded of the power of re-defining your market to stimulate innovation.

This bit of the brand positioning often gets scant attention. Most of the effort goes into coming up with that killer 1-line, snappy brand essence phrase. Or on debating wording. Many brand positioning statements I see still have the market defined in manufacturer terms, such as "household cleaning products" or "shampoos and conditioners".

A different way to look at the market is to define it in benefit terms. And to think more broadly about how you brand fits into your consumers’ lives. One of the best example of this is a project I worked on with Blockbuster. They defined their market as "video rental". Talking to people in the business, they thought of themselves as a video library; a typical, manufacturer based definition that was not very inspiring.

Working on a future vision for the brand and business created a new definition of their market" "The great night in market".


This was a real eye-opener, and a great stimulus for innovation:
– Selling food and drink to help make a great night in: convenience for the shopper, and extra revenue streams
– Going into video games, another way for a great night in
– Looking at home delivery of DVDs (though they were slow on getting into this)
– The Blockbuster guarantee: rent what you want, or get it free next time

One of the benefits of this approach is how it re-frames your growth potential. Blockbuster had a leading share of video rental of about 40% … but a much smaller share of the great night in market.